Science and Society

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  • In this Science and Society article, Tracey and Flower examine how insights and techniques from neuroscience have been and might be used by the military. They also highlight some of the ethical issues raised by the use of neuroscientific knowledge in this context.

    • Irene Tracey
    • Rod Flower
    Science and Society
  • Myths about the brain — neuromyths — have established themselves among teachers worldwide, often contributing to poor practice. Paul Howard-Jones shows how fact became distorted into popular neuromyth by biases and cultural conditions that largely remain, threatening current attempts at authentic dialogue between neuroscience and education.

    • Paul A. Howard-Jones
    Science and Society
  • The scientific and legal interest in functional MRI-based lie detection has grown rapidly in the past decade. In this Perspective, Farah and colleagues review the scientific state of the art of this approach to lie detection, discuss its legal status and consider broader ethical and societal implications.

    • Martha J. Farah
    • J. Benjamin Hutchinson
    • Anthony D. Wagner
    Science and Society
  • In this Perspective article, Reiss and colleagues summarize the most recent neuroimaging studies attempting to determine the neural correlates of humour and discuss the influence of sex, personality traits and certain psychiatric disorders on humour appreciation.

    • Pascal Vrticka
    • Jessica M. Black
    • Allan L. Reiss
    Science and Society
  • Brain imaging techniques have recently been able to reveal awareness and even allow rudimentary communication in some patients who have been diagnosed as being in the vegetative state. In this Perspective, Fernández-Espejo and Owen discuss these developments and consider their diagnostic, judicial and ethical implications.

    • Davinia Fernández-Espejo
    • Adrian M. Owen
    Science and Society
  • Neuroscientific evidence is increasingly offered in court cases, with neuroscientists often acting as expert witnesses. Jones and colleagues discuss the important roles that neuroscientists serve, as well as the potential problems they, as well as judges and jurors, may encounter.

    • Owen D. Jones
    • Anthony D. Wagner
    • Marcus E. Raichle
    Science and Society
  • Psychology and neuroscience studies have shown that memory is a reconstructive process that is susceptible to distortion. Lacy and Stark summarize the evidence and discuss how this insight could be applied to police and courtroom procedures.

    • Joyce W. Lacy
    • Craig E. L. Stark
    Science and Society
  • The possession of psychoactive drugs is subject to national and international regulations. In this Perspective article, Nuttet al. discuss how this situation makes it extremely difficult to obtain licences and investigate both the therapeutic potential and the potential dangers of psychoactive drugs.

    • David J. Nutt
    • Leslie A. King
    • David E. Nichols
    Science and Society
  • Since its emergence, the field of neuroeconomics has gained much attention but has also been subject to criticism. In this Perspective, the authors analyse the neuroeconomics literature and the social networks within the neuroeconomics community and consider whether the field represents a truly integrated discipline.

    • Clement Levallois
    • John A. Clithero
    • Scott A. Huettel
    Science and Society
  • Maintaining cognitive function and reducing the risk of cognitive decline is a major concern in ageing populations. In this Perspective, the authors discuss the determinants of healthy and pathological brain ageing, and provide insights into how these processes are accelerated and might be prevented.

    • Alexis M. Stranahan
    • Mark P. Mattson
    Science and Society
  • Biomarkers for autism may reveal causes of the condition and could be used to improve diagnosis and enable earlier detection of autism spectrum disorders. Walsh and colleagues discuss the major scientific challenges in the search for autism biomarkers and consider a number of important social and ethical concerns arising from biomarker development and application.

    • Pat Walsh
    • Mayada Elsabbagh
    • Ilina Singh
    Science and Society
  • Socioeconomic status (SES) influences brain development. Farah and colleagues discuss evidence that prenatal factors, parent–child interactions and cognitive stimulation mediate this effect, and consider implications for alleviating SES-related disparities in mental health and academic achievement.

    • Daniel A. Hackman
    • Martha J. Farah
    • Michael J. Meaney
    Science and Society
  • In this Perspective, Kraus and Chandrasekaran show that changes in the nervous system that are induced by music training enhance auditory processing, not only of music but also of speech and language. They argue that music training should be provided in schools to benefit children throughout society.

    • Nina Kraus
    • Bharath Chandrasekaran
    Science and Society
  • The use of neuroimaging in product marketing has received considerable business and media attention. Ariely and Berns consider the possibilities and limitations of neuromarketing, arguing that, although not generally cost-effective, it might be useful in specific aspects of marketing. An interview with Gregory S. Berns for Neuropod is available for download.

    • Dan Ariely
    • Gregory S. Berns
    Science and Society
  • Neuroscientists face increasing pressure to disseminate results and discuss their implications with the public. Illes and colleagues consider the challenges that they face and make specific recommendations for individuals and institutions to promote this process.

    • Judy Illes
    • Mary Anne Moser
    • Samuel Weiss
    Science and Society
  • Advances in brain research capture public attention not only through the media but also through the arts and commercial products. Frazzetto and Anker reflect on the numerous cultural products that are inspired by neuroscience research and highlight the dialogue between science and culture.

    • Giovanni Frazzetto
    • Suzanne Anker
    Science and Society